Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Taxonomic determination of neotropical deer in zooarchaeological samples through NGS (#641)

Federica Moreno 1 , Gonzalo Figueiro 2 , Natalia Mannise 1 , Andres Iriarte 3 4 , Susana Gonzalez 1 5 , José Mauricio B Duarte 6 , Mariana Cosse 1
  1. Biodiversidad y Genética, Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable-MEC, Montevideo, Uruguay
  2. Antropología Biológica, FHCE-Udelar, Montevideo, Uruguay
  3. Departamento de Genómica, Instituto de Investigaciones Biologicas Clemente Estable-MEC, Montevideo, Uruguay
  4. Departamento de Desarrollo Biotecnológico, Instituto de Higiene Facultad de Medicina, Udelar, Montevideo, Uruguay
  5. Sección Genética, Facultad de Ciencias-UdelaR, Montevideo, Uruguay
  6. Núcleo de Pesquisa e Conservação de Cervídeos, Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidade Estadual Paulista , Jaboticabal, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The aim of this study was to analyse the resolution power of the Next Generation Sequence (NGS) approach applied to the insight population genetics of archaeological cervid remains. Zooarchaeological studies of earth mounds of the eastern Uruguayan lowlands evidence the exploitation of several mammals including Neotropical deer. We analysed three specimens morphologically identified as pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) dated circa 1300 years BP, recovered from the Ch2D01 archaeological site, in the San Miguel wetland of Rocha, Uruguay. We used a short fragment of the mitochondrial D-loop region and surprisingly they were determined to not correspond to pampas deer but were brown brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira). Furthermore, the three samples contained two unique novel haplotypes. These unexpected results show the difficulty to determine these remains taxonomically by morphology, suggesting that M. gouazoubira is underestimated in the zooarchaeological record of the eastern Uruguay. This taxonomic adjustment is of great importance for the understanding of prehistoric animal economy because it involves the development of different exploitation strategies for each taxon. The results also show the usefulness of NGS to verify taxonomic identity derived from morphological analyses and its power to evaluate haplotype diversity on pooled samples from ancient DNA.